Recently, I was in our downstairs bathroom when I saw the strangest, most archaic looking beetle I have ever seen. Instantly, two options came to my mind:
The first, I could scream for my husband who was watching TV upstairs so he could kill it for me. The second, I could let it live until my husband comes downstairs.
Without skipping a beat, my initial response was the former. However, that is exactly what my husband loves to poke fun at me for! In order to avoid the laughs at my expense, I decided to go with the second option. I would let it live for the time being and have my husband kill it within a couple of minutes after he came down.
Worst. Decision. Ever.
I went about my day, completely forgetting about this creepy pest. I went to bed and got a good night’s sleep.
Then – it happened.
I woke up, stretched while lying in bed for a minute, and grabbed my phone to me to check my messages. Then, I went to pull my covers off and felt something hard near my shoulder. I turned my phone’s light on and directed it toward what I felt, and that is when I saw it.
The archaic-looking beetle was perched on the covers on my shoulder!
I swear, it either thought we were best friends since I let it live, or it was haunting me for making such a terrible decision. I screamed, woke my husband, and then threw it off the bed. One of the worst parts of the story: we never found it.
That moment will most likely haunt me for years. Plus, my husband was able to make fun of me. Not only for my reaction that morning, but also about how I let it live so that he wouldn’t have the opportunity to laugh at me in the first place.
I initially let my pride keep me from reaching out to my husband for help.
Want to know what the Bible says about pride? That it will come before a fall (Proverbs 16:18).
My desire is to become more aware of my own pride so I can get rid of it. I would rather bring it to the light myself rather than suffer a fall. After all, whatever we do not bring to the light ourselves will eventually be made known (Luke 12:2).
Pride can pop up in almost any area of life – even in areas where we seem the most selfless! Ministry is a great example of this. For instance, I want to advance the kingdom of God. I believe God’s ability is far greater than my potential and I do not want to get to Heaven only to realize I wasted even a fraction of either. Here’s the flip side: I want to be successful at it.
Philippians 2:3 identifies two versions of pride: Vain Conceit and Selfish Ambition. Selfish Ambition can creep into even the seemingly altruistic work in our lives. I do not want to pretend it doesn’t affect me. It does. But I refuse to let it affect my ministry without a fight.
Christian artist, Lecrae, words this struggle perfectly in his song, Ambition.
“I tell you what’s better, or better yet worse.
chasing your own glory while doing the Lord’s work,
so holla if it hurts, but we were made for greater
our greatest satisfaction is making His name famous”
Oh, yes. It hurts.
This drive for success can be very beneficial if I harness it the right way. However, if I don’t, it can also become a slippery slope to a life of pride that seeks to chase my own glory through doing the Lord’s work.
But I refuse to let it.
James 3:16 (NLT) says,
“For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.”
I will not let this dark area of my heart live like I did that beetle. I will not allow evil to lurk around the corner. No. I will not let it live. I have learned my lesson. I will not forget it is there. I will not allow it to come back to haunt me when I least expect it. I will not allow it to perch itself on my shoulder.
Instead, I choose to bring it to the light. I choose to repent and to change my thinking. I choose to work toward that greatest satisfaction: making His name famous.